MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Opening View: Walt Disney, Motorola Take the Earnings Reins

Checking in on blue chips, Walt Disney (DIS: View sentiment for DISsentiment, chart, options) stepped into the earnings spotlight after the close yesterday. The company reported third-quarter earnings of $1.28 billion, up 9% from a year ago. Excluding items, DIS earned a profit of 62 cents per share. Revenue for the quarter jumped 2% higher to $9.24 billion. Analysts, on average, were predicting third-quarter earnings (excluding items) of 61 cents per share on $9.14 billion in sales. While the cartoon king attributed its rising profits to revenue growth at ESPN and strong results from its theme park in France, it also warned that the advertising market was slowing down in the current quarter.

Meanwhile, Motorola (MOT: View sentiment for MOTsentiment, chart, options) said it swung to a second-quarter gain of $4 million, or breakeven per share, from a loss of $28 million, or a penny per share, last year. The latest period included charges of 2 cents per share. Sales fell to $8.1 billion from $8.7 billion a year prior. The Street was looking for a loss of 4 cents per share on revenue of $7.7 billion. For the third quarter, the company expects to break even or earn up to 2 cents per share. For the full year, MOT expects an operating profit of 6 cents to 8 cents per share. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of a penny per share for both the third quarter and the full year.

Rounding out the earnings trifecta, Starbucks (SBUX: View sentiment for SBUXsentiment, chart, options) reported a second-quarter net loss of $6.7 million, or a penny per share, down from a profit of $158.3 million, or 21 cents, in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, revenue for the quarter rose 9.1% to $2.57 billion. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 18 cents per share on $2.6 billion in sales. The java giant slashed its 2008 profit guidance to the "mid-seventy-cent" per-share range; analysts are expecting a full-year profit of 81 cents per share. However, the firm kept its 2009 profit guidance of 90 cents to $1 per share.



Opening View: Walt Disney, Motorola Take the Earnings Reins


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